But, like it or not, you are a marketer.
When it comes to your website, you’ll be adding another specialty – online marketer… And to take it even further, you’re also going to want to start considering yourself a content marketer!
Let’s step back a bit. You know how powerful your marketing strategy can be because it brings in new leads. By advertising in the yellow pages, on the radio, in the newspaper, with door hangers, direct mailers, and canvassers you’re bringing awareness to your home improvement business. And sales. And revenue…
And now you’ve got a website chock full of your company information and the services you provide. But your site is more than just an online “brochure” or “business card”. It’s a powerful tool to generate leads for your business.
NOTE: I recommend you watch the DIY Guide to Contractor Online Marketing webinar at some point to get great ideas on how to improve your website to help you bring in more leads.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is using multiple formats (websites, videos, e-books, printed guides, etc.) to create and share content for the purpose of engaging potential customers.
Which basically means… writing and creating pieces of content that inform, educate and/or entertain your prospects. But, you might say, you’re not a writer – you’re a contractor and a business owner…
Creating content for your website, for social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), for your YouTube channel… all these things can help you increase sales. How? Two ways…
- With quality, original content on your website, your blog, your social media campaigns you’re telling potential customers that you are the expert. Whether you’re providing a How-to video, writing a weather Winterization guide, or showing off some Before & After shots in a blog post you are proving to prospects that you know what you’re doing.
- Content generally has a lot of important and meaningful words (called Keywords) that are similar to what people type into the search engines when they use Google, Yahoo! or Bing to find what they’re looking for. The keywords in your content allow the search engines to understand who you are and what your business does. By having all the right keywords on your site and in your content, it means more of your future customers will find you – Google and others will send them to your site! This is called search engine optimization (SEO). And it’s a free, easy way to get traffic to your website.
So, you can see why it’s important to create content. The question is – when will you find the time and energy to do all this?
To be honest – it’s tough… Creating content requires a lot from you. But here’s the good news… it doesn’t need to take up hours of your day. In fact, you can kill several birds with one stone:
Let’s say you come up with an idea to write an article, “How to Winterize Your Home for under $500”. You spend a half an hour one day jotting down a list of ideas. You let someone on your team add a few more ideas. Finally, you spend an hour one weekend putting it all down in a Word document.
What do you have? You now have an e-guide – a digital document that you could do several things with:
- Email it to your database list (E-mail Content Marketing)
- Post to your website blog (Blog Content Marketing)
- Write up a brief blurb and post it on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with a link back to your blog post (Social Media Content Marketing)
- Ask your local online newspaper website to publish it (Article Content Marketing)
- Create a quick video, using your smartphone, that goes over the highlights of the guide (Video Content Marketing)
- Teach a class at the local hardware store and pass out printed copies of the guide (Presentation and White Paper Content Marketing)
Do you see what you just did there? With one piece of content, you created 6 different and effective types of Content Marketing. You’ll have all these opportunities to show people you’re an expert, you’ll have all these links back to your website, along with all those juicy keywords on your site for SEO purposes.
And just like that, you’re getting more leads with online marketing! Set aside a few hours a week coming up with ideas, creating pieces of content, and distributing them as many ways as possible.
Okay – I’m off to turn this blog post into a webinar, an e-guide, a white paper you can download, and a video!
Good luck and welcome to the world of content marketing!